Jack Canfield shows how the universe can work for you
By Maria Patterson
RISMEDIA, May 16, 2007-A veritable poster boy for the benefits of positive thinking, author and speaker Jack Canfield went from meager concept to larger-than-life success with his best-selling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series. In this interview, Canfield discusses his most recent project, the wildly popular book and DVD, “The Secret,” and how the Law of Attraction can open the door to success for all of us.
Maria Patterson: Please describe for those who may be unfamiliar with ‘The Secret,’ the main theory of The Law of Attraction.
Jack Canfield: The Law of Attraction states that whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life. The good news is that if you want more of something in your life, all you have to do is visualize it. The bad news is that most people focus on what they don’t like about their current reality-markets are down, sellers aren’t selling, buyers aren’t buying, interest rates are too high-and by doing so you create more of it. When people feel stuck, they continue to live the same experience over and over and they don’t realize that they’re the ones recreating it.
The Law of Attraction is a law as infallible as gravity. It works all the time whether you’re aware of it or not. From my point of view, in terms of all the laws in the universe, the Law of Attraction is the one that most relates to success.
MP: How can people take this very grand concept of The Law of Attraction and apply it to improve their own individual lives?
JC: As we say in “The Secret,” there are three steps to the Law of Attraction: Ask, Believe and Receive.
In the asking part, one has to really clarify what one’s goals are. You have to determine exactly what your vision is. That can be a long-term plan-“five years from now I want to be financially independent”-or it can be a specific, short-term measurable goal, like “I want to lose this much weight by this date” or “I want to sell X number of listings by this date.” Too many times people leave out the specificity. You can say I want to earn more money next year, but if you earn just $4 more than last year, that’s more money.
I teach that you need to write your goal out as a description of the event as if it’s already occurring in the present moment: “I am so happy and grateful-I am walking across the stage to receive the salesperson of the year award.” You have to state it very clearly-I call it a purchase order to God or an infinite intelligence.
MP: How do we know what to do next? Do we sometimes fail to seee the way that the universe is guiding us?JC: Ask and your subconscious mind and the universe will act like a GPS system in a car. The “how” will come up-that’s where the Law of Attraction comes in. We’re often very set on getting there one way, but the universe often knows a better way.
We get fixated on one door and we think that’s the only way to do it. We study the way to list and sell, for example. Then when something else shows up, we don’t recognize it. We have blinders on and we’re not paying attention.
If you’re doing the Daily Disciplines for Effortless Success (see sidebar page 74), what happens is that the universe starts giving you all the resources-the money, the people, the opportunity, the books-you need. They start to show up in your life, but you have to be looking for them and you have to trust your intuitive impulses to act.
MP: How about the receiving part of the equation? How does that come about?
JC: For the receiving part, you have to be emotionally vibrating at the same frequency as you already would be as if you already had the result. This would be a state of gratitude. When I get out of bed I take five minutes to review what I’m grateful for.
There is nothing more important than that you feel good all day long. Think a better feeling-think about a thought that makes you feel better. When you’re feeling bad, ask yourself, “What thought am I thinking that made me feel that way?” You have the ability to stop and change your thinking. When you’re in a state of feeling good, you’re in a state of attracting things.
A lot of people think that they just have to visualize what they want and it will show up. Well, the last six letters of attraction spell “action.” When you’re in a state of belief you also have to be in a state of action. If I believe I can sell X amount of real estate then I need to be out there doing the things that people who sell real estate do. Without movement, there’s no flow. Go to a sales seminar, develop your sales pitch and build your referrals. At the same time, pay attention to the emergent intuitive impulses to act. Your subconscious is saying, “Here’s the solution.”
MP: What about doubt? It’s human nature to doubt, so how might this affect the Law of Attraction process?
JC: It’s not human nature to doubt. Does a baby doubt that he or she will be able to walk? Kids are full of potentiality and possibility that gets slapped down by a parent, a teacher, a coach. Doubt is not part of our DNA-it’s part of our later programming that comes from society.
Basically, a doubt is a thought that’s negative. You have to replace it with a belief and this is done on faith. Beliefs are thoughts you think over and over. What you want to do is replace any doubt with its opposite-change it to a positive. Start thinking, “I eat the perfect amount of food,” as opposed to, “Everything I eat goes straight to my hips.”
Scientific studies have shown that it takes 25 to 30 days to build a habit. If you can do a visualization or a set of affirmations for 30 days in a row without interruption you can achieve your goal. Most people skip a day unknowingly and if you do, you have to start at day one again. You have to do the discipline for 30 days to create new neuropathways in the brain. Anyone can turn around a belief system or a corporate culture in 30 days.
MP: How would you describe the degree of effort involved in this process?
JC: We were always taught that you have to work hard, sacrifice and struggle-that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s not really true. The Law of Least Effort tells us that the thing that’s easiest for us to do is our unique ability and talent and that’s what we should be doing. For Tiger Woods, that’s golf. The best therapists have been doing it since they were 8 years old, breaking up fights on the playground.
Too many people make the mistake of chasing the money instead of doing that which they love. If you’re doing what makes you happy, then you’ll attract more of what makes you happy. People need to focus on their joy and gratitude and get rid of resentment and judgment. When you’re following the Law of Attraction, everything that you want is lined up and moving toward you. If you start resisting, you’re not vibrating at a level of love and joy and forgiveness. When you’re focusing on resentment, you’re pushing away from you exactly what you want.
MP: “The Secret” points out that no goal is too big. Can you explain why?
JC: You can’t have a wish without the ability for it to come true. What I say in The Success Principles is that it doesn’t take any more time to dream a big dream than a small dream-so why not dream big.
The universe doesn’t care about speed and size. The universe has an infinite supply and we are extensions of this infinite source. With the universe size and time are truly irrelevant.
MP: There is a lot of negativity surrounding the real estate industry right now. What would you say to real estate professionals who are caught up in this wave of negativity?
JC: Stop following the media. Walk away from negative conversations. Look at what you focus on-if you focus on how bad it is you’ll produce more of how bad it is. Your choice is to walk away or to change the conversation to something more positive. People have an addiction to the way things are as opposed to the reality we want to create. Always be talking about, thinking about, reading about what it is you want.
Sidebar: Jack Canfield’s Daily Disciplines for Effortless Success
According to Jack Canfield, the first step to using the Law of Attraction as presented in the movie “The Secret” is to clarify exactly what you want. Be as specific as possible. Once you have clarified what you want, do the following each and every day.
1. Morning Intention, Visualization and Releasing
As soon as you wake up in the morning, take about five minutes to focus your mind on your desires, goals and intentions. You can also take a few moments to visualize your day going exactly as you would like it to. When you do this, you will often find negative limiting beliefs that are the result of negative programming from your childhood will come up. Don’t fight or argue with the thought; just release it. Remember to also spend several moments feeling the feelings you would feel if you had already manifested your desire in your life. The intensity of the feeling is what fuels the intensity of the attraction.
2. Use External Images to Keep You Focused on Your Desires and Goals
To keep yourself focused on what you want to manifest surround yourself with visual images of the things and experiences you want to attract into your life. Cut out pictures of the things you wish to own (like your ideal car or home) and pictures that represent the experiences you want to have (like the perfect relationship, your ideal job, perfect health) to remind yourself of how you want it to be. Tape them up where you will see them every day.
3. Think a Better Feeling Thought
Start paying attention to the many times during the day that you have emotional responses (to other people, experiences, or your own thoughts) that are not in alignment with having or producing your desires. Remember, it’s your feelings (which are created by your thoughts, opinions, and beliefs) that are attracting your current circumstances. You must make a vibrational shift by changing your thoughts to ones that make you feel better (i.e., raise your vibration). It is especially important to focus your thoughts and behaviors on things that cause you to feel joy.
4. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
It is critical to take time each and every day to focus on what you are grateful for. Some people do this in the morning before or after they visualize their desires; others prefer to do it in the evening. No matter what your situation, there are always things to be grateful for. The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more things and experiences you will attract to be grateful for.
5. Take Action
There are two kinds of actions you can take. Obvious actions are things like, if you want a better car, going to test drive all of the models you are interested in and choosing the exact car you want to have, and saving 10% of your income in a “car account.”
There are also what I call “inspired actions.” The universe will start responding by sending the people, resources and opportunities you need to manifest your desired result. You are going to find that you have inspired ideas; you must act on them. Often these intuitive impulses will have no seeming connection to achieving your goal, but if you follow them, they will lead you down a path of wonderful fulfillment.
If you are feeling joy while you are doing these actions, then you are on the right path. Remember, joy is your internal guidance system.
6. Acknowledge that it is Working
If you start to see something change for the better, acknowledge that it is happening. Appreciate it. The more you acknowledge that it’s working, the more it will work. It’s that simple. If you are attracting things into your life that you don’t want, remember the Law of Attraction is still working. Ask your self, “What am I focusing on, thinking about, talking about, feeling or doing that is attracting this into my life?” To change those results, you will first have to change your vibration by changing your thoughts and feelings.
Copyright 2007, Jack Canfield, P.O. Box 30880, Santa Barbara, CA 93130 www.JackCanfield.com.